Astaire: A Collaborative Mixed Reality Dance Game for Collocated Players

Gustavo Tondello
Sep 30 · 2 min read
Photo by stem.T4L on Unsplash

What if playing in Virtual Reality (VR) did not mean being isolated from your surrounding social space? What if you could play in VR with collocated others who are not wearing a Head Mounted Display?

In Astaire, a collocated dance game, players share a VR setup, collaborate to meet dancing goals, “catch” musical notes, avoid obstacles, and perform for spectators. One player straps a controller to their ankle and sees a first-person perspective through the headset, while the other player straps a controller to their wrist and looks at a screen for a third person, top-down perspective. Astaire is the result of a design research process using embodied design methods, and drawing upon concepts in HCI and Play Design, including social affordances, and asymmetric and interdependent play.

Here, we present insights from a study playtesting Astaire alongside two VR games that inspired ours: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (KTNE), and Audioshield. Players and spectators self- reported higher enjoyment and interpersonal relationships for Astaire. We also present design elements that impacted our participants’ play experience, such as balancing players’ roles, the physicality of the games, and the social experience enabled.


Contact author: Elena Márquez Segura

CHI PLAY session:
emBodied Gaming
Wednesday, 23 October 2019, 11:00–13:30

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Gustavo Tondello

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Instructional support coordinator, University of Waterloo. Researcher, HCI Games Group. Logosophy student.

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